By Vera Awuah
Choosing healthy food can be very difficult especially when you have been diagnosed with diabetes. Diabetic patients become self-conscious about their eating routine. The key is to choose foods that are high in fibre, protein and healthy fats. These nutrients will keep your blood sugar levels under control. It is also important to snack on nutrient-dense foods that promote overall health.
We have put together excellent food snack ideas if you are diabetic:
Hard-Boiled Egg: This is a super healthy food snack for people with diabetes. Its protein content really makes them shine; one large, hard-boiled eggs provides 6 grams of protein which is helpful for diabetes because it keeps your blood sugar from rising too high. Eggs are known to promote fullness, an important aspect of managing type 2 diabetes.
Diabetes is associated with a greater likelihood of becoming overweight and developing heart problems. So, you can enjoy a hard-boiled egg or two as snack every morning. It really works in managing the condition.
- 1. Trail Mix: This is a food snack made by combining nuts, seeds, and dried fruits. Trail mix also provides some healthy fats and fibre from the nuts and seeds which have been shown to help reduce blood sugar and insulin levels. The key is to avoid adding too much dried fruit to your trail mix, as it is quite high in sugar and may spike blood sugar levels if consumed too much.
In addition, it is very high in calories. Hence, it is advisable to avoid eating too much trail mix at once. A reasonable serving is about a handful. A1-ounce (28grams) serving of trail mix provides almost 4grams of protein which makes it a filling snack that may promote blood sugar control.
- 2. Black Bean Salad: This is a healthy food snack to prepare. Simply combine cooked black bean with chopped vegetables, such as onions and peppers, and other veggies and toss them with vinaigrette dressing. Since black bean is rich in fiber and protein, they make a healthy food snack for individuals with diabetes.
Eating black bean salad may prevent blood sugar spikes and help lower insulin levels after meals. This salad has also benefits heart health by helping lower cholesterol and blood pressure levels. It is always advisable to incorporate more salads and vegetables in your meals.
- 3. Popcorn: This is a healthy food snack that is very popular and healthy whole grain snack. It has low calorie density. One cup (8gram) of air-popped popcorn contains just 31 calories. Snacking on low calorie foods may aid weight control, which is known to promote decreased blood sugar levels and better overall management of type2diabetes.
Popcorn also provides 1gram of fibre per 1- cup (8gram) serving, which is another property that makes it a diabetes friendly food. Since most pre-packaged popcorn is full of salt and sugar, trans-fat, and other unhealthy ingredients, it is healthiest to air-pop your own to be safe.
4. Tuna Salad: This is made by combining tuna with yogurt or sour cream and other ingredients such as greens and onions. Additionally, tuna is rich in Omega-3 fatty acids which helps to manage diabetes due to their potential to lower inflammation and improve blood sugar control. One can make tuna salad even healthier and higher in protein by mixing it with cheese cottage, depending on your taste or its availability. Research has proven that A3-ounce (84gram) serving of tuna provides 22grams protein and no carbs which makes it a great food snack option if you have diabetes.
5. Sliced Apples with peanut butter: Apples are rich in several nutrients including B Vitamins, vitamin C and potassium. And peanut butter provides significant amount of vitamin E, magnesium and manganese, all of which are known to help manage diabetes. Sliced apples paired with nut butter make for a delicious and healthy food snack that’s great for people living with Diabetes. Both apples and peanut butter are also very high in fibre. One medium apple combined with 1ounce (28grams) of peanut butter provides 7grams of fibre, which is helpful for keeping your blood sugar under control.
Apples have been studied specifically for their potential role in Diabetes management. The polyphenol antioxidants they contain are thought to protect pancreatic cells from damage that often worsens diabetes. One can also try pairing other types of fruits with peanut butter such as banana and pears, for similar health benefits.
6.. Greek Yogurt with fruits/Berries: Yogurt with berries is an excellent diabetes-friendly snack for a variety of reasons. First, the antioxidants in berries may bring inflammation and prevent damage to cell of the pancreas. The pancreas is the organ responsible for releasing hormones that lowers blood sugar levels.
Second, berries are great a source of fibre. For example, a 1-Cup (148grams) serving of blue berries provides 4grams of fibre. This helps to slow down digestion and stabilize blood sugar levels after eating. Yogurt itself is known for its ability to lower blood sugar levels. This is partly due to its probiotic content. This may improve your body’s ability to metabolize foods that contains sugar.
Third, yogurt is rich in protein, which is well-known to help keep blood sugar levels under control. Greek yogurt is especially high in protein. Yogurt and berries or fruits taste great together. Hence, it is advisable for persons with diabetes to incorporate yogurt in their meal routine especially in their breakfast. This can also be taken before going to bed.
7. Avocado: The high fibre content and monounsaturated fatty acids in avocado make them a diabetes-friendly food. These properties may prevent blood sugar from spiking after meals. A study found that patients with type 2 diabetes who include sources of monounsaturated fatty acids in their diets on a regular basis experience significant improvement in their blood sugar levels. You can eat avocado on its own or mix it with other recipes.
8. Chia seeds: These are tiny black and white seeds. They boost digestive health because they are rich in soluble fibre and form a gel in your gut. This helps slow digestion and prevent rapid blood sugar spikes. Chia seeds add crunch to salad and smoothies. You can also use them to make chia pudding, a delectable treat that is delicious with fresh fruits. These wonderful seeds can last up to 4 years in your pantry.
There are plenty of healthy snack option to choose from if you have Diabetes. A good rule of thumb is to choose foods that are high in protein, fibre, and healthy fats. All of these are known to help maintain healthy blood sugar levels.
Individuals with type 2 diabetes have a higher risk of obesity and chronic illness such as heart disease. Thus, it is important to focus on foods that are nutrient-dense and healthy. It doesn’t have to be difficult to eat. There are many quick and easy snacks you can prepare and eat even when you are on the go.
Happy healthy eating!